Good News, Mainers: Ticks Laying Low in High Heat
After ever climbing cases of lyme disease and warnings about high levels of tick infestations, Lyme cases are down through the month of July compared to the same period last year according to the Press Herald. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 500 to 650 Lyme cases through July. This year, Maine had only 443 cases of Lyme disease through July 31.
Charles Lubelczyk, field biologist at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute in Scarborough, says the bugs likely haven't died off, but rather burrowed deeper under leaves and dirt to hide from the heat. They're just hiding out for the time being, says Griffin Dill, integrated pest management professional at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. They remain hardy and difficult to kill off.
“The ticks are just lying low in the leaf litter, biding their time,” Dill said to the Press Herald. “I don’t think this will set them back. They’re going to wait it out.”